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IE, Windows Live Messenger, Outlook Express, Firefox all FUBAR!

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Suddenly I cannot use Internet Explorer, Outlook Express, Windows Live Messenger or Firefox. I can open Outlook Express but it cannot send or receive emails and just tries forever. IE won't load ANYTHING, neither will Firefox, nothing but page not found errors. WLM just spins it's wheels trying to log in. McAfee is telling me I'm not protected and when I click on fix it tells me it can't because of an error. I'm also getting "end program - O" error messages when I reboot.

I can use Flock to access the internet, which is the only reason I can even ask for help.

I have been searching the net for days trying to find out what this is. I've seen people post about one issue or another but never all of them. I'm terrified to try a fix on one thing because they all seem related, since it all happened at once. Can someone point me in the right direction? Do I need to just try to back up all my data and take this to a professional?? (I don't know if I can afford to do this :blink: )

I'll be honest and tell you that I don't recall what order I did these things in because I've been trying to deal with this while also chasing after a very active toddler so my brain is a bit fried.

I did try a system restore to no avail. I probably didn't go back far enough and now it's actually been a couple of weeks since this started. :whistling: I got so frustrated that I gave up and just resorted to using Flock to check my email online and to surf.

I'm trying to remember what order things happened on the day in question. As I recall the first thing I noticed was that Windows Live Messenger died. It just inexplicibly lost connectivity and could not log in. Then I noticed that Outlook Express was stuck in a loop trying and failing to send/receive. I tried to open IE and it launched but then couldn't connect to any websites, all I got were "page not found" errors. So I thought my broadband was down. It wasn't because my husband's computer (a MAC) is just fine in terms of accessing the internet etc. Then I tried Firefox and it had the same issue as IE, it will launch but it cannot find the internet. I tried Flock and was able to start Googling. I wasn't finding much. So I thought, ok, I'll reload programs. I used Flock to download new versions of IE, Messenger and Outlook Express. I updated McAfee too. Nothing helped. I'll be honest I didn't even try Firefox. It was several days later that McAfee finally started giving me the icon that says "your computer is not protected" ; "click here to fix" and then telling me that it can't be fixed because of an error. Within the last few days is when it started throwing the "end program - O" when I try to shut down.

Does this sound like I'm infected with something? I was sure I'd picked up some nasty bug or worm and that's why I was so surprised that all my Googling wasn't coming up with hits. I've never had anything happen on my computer that I couldn't fix myself or wiyh help (well, other than a hard drive failure but that was hardware, not software)

I really appreciate the help! THANKS!
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I suggest that you follow the procedures outlined here:

When complete, post a HiJackThis log here:
Posting a HJT log elsewhere will only delay the help you need.

In your first post, please provide full system specifications and a concise description of the problem.
You will be helped by a trained malware removal specialist.

If problems remain after your helper gives you a clean bill of health,
post back here and we will assist in getting everything sorted.

Good luck, and happy hunting.
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